For the past month, I have been focusing on the "Experience" branch of my thesis project. This part of my research is meant to be case study of my own involvement in certain fandoms.
By participating/ writing in certain fandoms, I hope to gain insight into the experience of possibly writing with a beta/ writing collaboratively; I want to learn more about how reader feedback and response affects a writer and their writing process; and I want to personally experience the process of writing a novel/ fan fiction with reader feedback and response.
I am writing an AU (Alternate Universe) fic, which means that I am using existing characters and their personalities, but I am writing something that exists outside of the canon universe. In order to get a real sense of how reader feedback affects process, I have decided to publish chapters as I write them. At this time, I have no real direction of where this story may lead; I have no outline or plan. I also published on two fanfiction sites in order to compare response. On December 1, I published the first two chapters of Stay the Course here
, and on December 6, I also published the same two chapters here
. Here is what I learned so far:
- You have to find your people. Once you find your people, you are afforded a potentially large audience, possible feedback, advice, and encouragement. But first you have to find your people. In order for this to happen, some exploration and experimentation may be necessary.
Not every fandom prefers the same site for posting/ reading fic. (Stay the Course
is posted in The 100
fandom.) I knew, because I was a member of this fandom (read fics but never posted one) before I started this, that AO3
was the preferred platform for posting/ reading in this fandom. But, since I had only previously used the site to read fic, and had never posted a fic here before, I had to wait for an invite to join in order to do so. I submitted my email address and ended up waiting 6 days for an invite to join.
The 12/01 posting was on fanfiction.net
. I posted here while I waited for my invite to join Archive of Our Own. Note: there is a smaller audience for The 100
fics here. Also, guests (readers who have not made an account) can read and comment as a guest, but cannot follow (receive emailed updates about a fic). After 7 days, here were my stats:
|Two Reviews for Stay the Course on ff.net|
On 12/06, I posted the same two chapters on AO3. Here were my stats after just 2 days:
11 bookmarks (equivalent to follows on ff.net)
24 kudos (equivalent to favorites on ff.net)
I noticed that along with a larger audience, I also had reviews that were more constructive:
- Not knowing enough/ failing to "fit in" can affect reader response when writing for a fandom. Feeling doubt can impact writing process.
For some reason, even though I have an interest in The 100 and The 100 fandom, I misspelled the main character's name in my fan fic. The first time that I published (12/01 on ff.net), the character of Clarke was spelled Clark every time I wrote it. I only realized after I saw that I was getting views, but no response from readers. I immediately deleted the fic, fixed it, and republished. It was then that I got more of a response. It was a small-ish mistake, but as a first-time writer in this fandom, it made me feel like an outsider.
My plan for the upcoming week is to continue to monitor feedback on both sites in order to collect data. I will also try to write Chapter 3.